- Mers is caused by a new type of coronavirus, a type of virus which includes the common cold and Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome).
- First cases emerged in the Middle East in 2012, and the first death in Saudi Arabia in June that year.
- It is not known for certain how it is transmitted. It is possible the virus is spread in droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- Patients have a fever, cough and breathing difficulties, but Mers can also cause pneumonia and kidney failure.
Approximately 36% of reported patients with Mers have died – there is no vaccine or specific treatment.